Maintenance and rehabilitation programming of the Portuguese road network

Development of a cracking prediction model

R. J. Silva, Luís Quaresma, R. Micaelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper describes the development of a cracking prediction model for Portuguese conditions which is expected to integrate the Pavement Management System (PMS) of Estradas de Portugal. The World Bank’s highway development and management (versions III and 4) and PARIS models are used as reference for the development of a deterministic (mechanistic-empirical) model, using pavement condition data from sections of the main road network. A two-phase distress evolution model is proposed where the initiation of cracking (1st phase) is ruled by a different equation than the progression of cracking (2nd phase). Cracking initiation is predicted on a traffic basis, from the annual traffic load and the structural capacity of the pavement. An absolute model is presented and recommended for the maintenance and rehabilitation (M&R) programming in the long-term and for the analysis of non-cracked segments. Absolute and relative type models were obtained for cracking progression. The relative model shows better agreement to data and is proposed for short- to medium-term analysis on segments with cracking history, while the absolute model is proposed for the M&R programming in the long-term and the analysis of non-cracked segments. Finally, the recommended model is evaluated based on the application to a set of pavement structures defined in the Portuguese pavement design guide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-394
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Pavement Research and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Cracking
  • Flexible pavements
  • Pavement condition assessment
  • Pavement deterioration models
  • Pavement management systems

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